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Common errors on CV’s and how to avoid them!

Having spent many years churning through CV’s for vacancies, there are some common errors that you need to eradicate before you go down in the recruiters’ estimation and the reject pile. Here they are:

Spellcheck, Spellcheck, Spellcheck! 

Everyone hates to see spelling errors, poor punctuation and poor grammar in CV’s. We are in a global workforce where English may not be the first language, or maybe the candidate is dyslexic, but there is a spellcheck function on most people’s software, so use it!  If you’re still not sure, ask a friend to review if for you. It highlights to the recruiter that you haven’t got “attention to detail”, and that’s what most jobs require!

Poorly presented CV

Some people just jumble all their text into one paragraph and this leaves the recruiter trying to wade through it like a James Joyce novel.  Lay the text out clearly with the most recent position first, with clear dates, and spaces in between jobs. Think about the most relevant details first, and make sure they are on the front page. Education and qualifications may be on the front page if you are a school or university leaver, but if you have been in work for 20 years, they will probably be later on in the CV, after your experience. Always have your 5 key points about why they should hire you on the first page!

Length of CV

Too long is usually the problem. Be concise! Recruiters don’t have time to wade through all the detail that you can’t be concise about, so you may get overlooked! I’ve recruited people on a half page CV before, but what they put down there was relevant, and some jobs are self explanatory too! As a general rule of thumb, no longer than 2 pages please!

Poorly thought out CV

Quite often people will apply for a job, but they won’t adapt their CV to the job in question. Don’t waste your time applying! Seriously. You need to adapt your CV and your skillset everytime you apply for a role. Keep a main generic CV stored, but adapt it each time for the role in question.

Gotta have a hobby!

So many people don’t bother with this aspect, but it’s so important to show your interests or hobbies in a brief section at the end of the CV. Recruiters want to hire interesting people, with a life outside of work, and they want to have a bigger picture when making an informed recruiting decision. They want to know what makes you tick. You could like bell ringing in churches or playing in a football team, it shows you have other skills that could be tapped into –if need be.

Last but not least…getting the fine line between arrogance and selling yourself on the CV

It is difficult but unfortunately the tone of the CV can impact how the recruiter views you. If you state your achievements with true facts then you are on the pathway to success. Don’t exaggerate anything on the CV as it will become apparent  in the interview that you have done so.

Remember your time and effort is precious too.  If you want to be considered properly then get your CV to its best possible position, with factually accurate information, and after that you can do no more…until the interview! Good luck.



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